Moving to San Francisco, CA? Complete Moving Guide - 2022

This is a complete guide for Moving to San Francisco, CA.
Get all the information you need to know about moving to San Francisco, CA.

Moving to San Francisco can be one of the best moving decisions you ever make.

The city’s expansive outdoor green spaces, beautiful beaches, artsy scenes, and dependable transport system make moving to San Francisco so appealing.

San Francisco is home to 38 Fortune 500 companies and more than 300 IT companies amongst several other firms that making the city’s unemployment rate lower than the U.S. average.

If you’re considering moving to San Francisco and wondering if the city is right for you or not, this guide contains all you need to know to make the right decision.

Let’s find out if moving to San Francisco is right for you.

facts of San Francisco

Quick facts to know before moving to San Francisco

  • San Francisco is a city of millennials with a median age of 38 years
  • San Francisco averages 259 sunny days per year
  • Over the last 10 years, San Francisco homes have appreciated by 104.7%
  • San Francisco’s unemployment rate is lower than the U.S. average
  • San Francisco’s average annual pay for average jobs is 72,813 a year
  • California property tax is 0.73% average effective rate
  • San Francisco’s average rent for a studio apartment is $2,073

Is it worth moving to San Francisco?

San Francisco is worth moving to. However, in the Bay City, you won't find many homes under $1 million, which is why so many young professionals relocate to the suburbs to afford a home and a yard.

What salary do you need to live comfortably in San Francisco?

San Francisco’s cost of living is one of the key things to consider while moving to the city. A one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco costs $2,579 on average, your monthly pre-tax earnings must total at least $6,951 to live comfortably in the city. This equates to $83,412 in pre-tax income every year

Where should I live if I move to San Francisco?

San Francisco is home to some of the best neighborhoods to live in California. What is the best San Francisco neighborhood to live in? The five best neighborhoods in San Francisco are Nob Hill, Outer Sunset, Pacific Heights, The Mission District, and South of Market (SoMa). You can streamline your house hunting to these cities if you’re moving to San Francisco.

Is it worth it to live in San Francisco?

Moving to San Francisco is always an easy decision because the city is full of charming sidewalk cafes, magnificent city parks, miles of hiking trails, breathtaking vistas, and some of the greatest restaurants the county has to offer. It's also worth noting that I've always had no trouble finding people to hang out with.

Is San Francisco safe right now?

San Francisco is a highly safe city to visit. Even though it can be dangerous at times, and the abundance of homeless people and drug addicts on the streets may make you feel apprehensive, criminal activity occurs only in risky areas of the city that are rarely visited by visitors. Safety won’t be a problem if you’re moving to San Francisco.

Why is San Francisco so popular?

San Francisco is a renowned tourist destination. The city is known for its mild summers, fog, steep rolling hills, diverse mix of architecture, and attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman's Wharf, and Chinatown. This is one of the reasons people are moving to San Francisco.

Why is San Francisco so expensive?

Years of inadequate home construction combined with a growing economy have now caught up with San Francisco. Building any type of house is difficult and time-consuming due to strict development requirements. Also, a public democratic procedure in which everyone has a say has affected the city’s housing market. Housing costs are some of the key things to consider before moving to San Francisco.

How many Fortune 500 companies are in the Bay Area?

San Francisco is home to 38 Fortune 500 companies. Several other startups and companies are based in San Francisco too. This makes moving to San Francisco such an appealing idea.

What’s the population of San Francisco?

San Francisco’s population is 884,108 people making it the 4th largest city in California and the 17th largest city in America. Spreading over 23 miles, San Francisco is also the county seat of San Francisco County. Since you’re mulling over moving to San Francisco, here’s a quick breakdown of the city’s population:

  • San Francisco’s population is currently growing at a rate of 0.10% annually
  • The city’s population has increased by 9.80% since the most recent census
  • San Francisco has a population density of 18,850 people per square mile
  • The median age in San Francisco is 38.2 years
  • San Francisco median age is 37.9 years for males, and 38.6 years for females

How fast can you commute in San Francisco?

San Francisco’s average one-way commute time takes 32.9 minutes. The U.S. average is 26.4 minutes. This means commuting in San Francisco takes few minutes more compared to the national average. Since you’re considering moving to San Francisco, the following is a quick snapshot of how the city’s residents commute to work:

  • About 34.3% of San Francisco residents drive their own car alone
  • Up to 6.8% of San Francisco residents carpool with others
  • Around 6.7% of San Francisco residents work from home
  • About 34.0% of San Francisco residents take mass transit

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What’s the weather like in San Francisco?

San Francisco averages 259 sunny days per year. The U.S. average is 205 sunny days. The weather is most likely one of the key things you’ll have to consider before making up your mind about moving to San Francisco.

  • San Francisco averages 25 inches of rain per year. The U.S. average is 38 inches
  • San Francisco gets 0 inches of snow per year. The U.S. average is 28 inches
  • San Francisco gets 72 days of precipitation every year
  • San Francisco summer high in July is around 67 degrees
  • San Francisco winter low in January is around 46 degrees
moving to San Francisco

Top 10 reasons to move to San Francisco CA

Why is moving to San Francisco such a great idea? San Francisco is one of the best places to live in America for several reasons.

Moving to San Francisco opens up several business opportunities alongside the amazing weather that makes the great outdoors remarkable. Since you’re mulling over moving to San Francisco, the following are the major reasons people love the city:

  • San Francisco is one of the best places to live in America
  • San Francisco boasts of endless career opportunities
  • You’ll enjoy the amazing outdoor lifestyle
  • San Francisco has a great weather
  • San Francisco has a tasty culinary scene
  • San Francisco has a great arts & culture scene
  • San Francisco is home to various professional sports team
  • San Francisco has a progressive culture
  • San Francisco is a cosmopolitan city and a melting pot of culture
  • There are lots of great things to do in San Francisco
San Francisco pros and cons

Pros & Cons of moving to San Francisco

You can easily figure out if moving to San Francisco is right for you or not by taking a look at the pros and cons of moving to the city.

We’ve made a list of the key pros and cons of moving to San Francisco to give you a head start.

Pros of living in San Francisco Cons of living in San Francisco
Various business opportunitiesIt can be a challenge to get used to the weather in San Francisco
San Francisco is a very dog-FriendlyNeighborhood define you in San Francisco
Diversity and progressive ValuesThere is a significant issue with homelessness and drug addiction in the city
Transportation optionsDon’t trust Google for your public transportation schedules
You’ll find lot of outdoor activities in San FranciscoHomelessness Sky-High Housing Costs
San Francisco is renowned for its cultural diversityNot So Kid-Friendly
The economy in San Francisco keeps humming alongYou will need to deal with the tax situation when living in San Francisco
You can embrace your creativity when living in San FranciscoThere is always the threat of an earthquake to consider in the city
San Francisco is one of the best dog-friendly cities in the United StatesThe traffic in San Francisco is legendarily terrible
Fitness is a priority in San FranciscoTraffic and High Gas Prices
There are lots of job opportunities available in San FranciscoThe housing market in San Francisco is pricing everyone out
You are a short drive from some of the best places in CaliforniaThe cost of living in San Francisco is equally high
Public transportation in San Francisco covers the entire city
Many employers offer free shuttles and other transportation services
There are plenty of activities to enjoy when living in San Francisco
place to live San Francisco

Best places to live if you’re moving to San Francisco

San Francisco is home to some of the best places to live in America. The city houses some of the most beautiful and sought-after neighborhoods in the country. Moving to San Francisco gives you the chance to live in any of these beautiful neighborhoods. We’ve made a list of the ten best places to live in the city since you’re considering moving to San Francisco:

  • North beach
  • Nob Hill
  • Haight-Ashbury
  • SOMA/West SOMA
  • Russian Hill
  • Cow Hollow/The Marina
  • Mission Dolores and Dolores Heights
  • Western Addition/NoPa
  • Castro
  • Presido Heights

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cost of living in San Francisco

What’s the cost of living in San Francisco?

San Francisco’s cost of living is 269.3. The United States’ average cost of living is 100. This means that San Francisco’s cost of living is more than twice as high as the national average.

Since you’re considering moving to San Francisco, the following are the key elements that make up the city’s cost of living:

Living Expense San Francisco California National Average
Overall206140100
Services137111100
Grocery127118100
Health127113100
Housing377196100
Utilities122118100
Transportation141128100

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San Francisco housing market

San Francisco is one of the best places to buy a home in America. You’ll find a wide-variety of properties in San Francisco and in some of the most coveted neighborhoods in America. If you’re interested in buying a home while moving to San Francisco, here’s a quick breakdown of the city’s housing market:

  • San Francisco median home cost is $1,471,200
  • Over the last 10 years, the city’s homes have appreciated by 104.7%
  • Home appreciation in San Francisco is currently up by 2.1%
  • Around 58.1% of San Francisco residents are renters
  • Up to 1.7% of homes and apartments in San Francisco are open to renting

San Francisco’s median rent

Renting can be your preferred housing option if you’re moving to San Francisco. More than 50% of San Francisco residents are renters. The best part is that you’ll find all kinds of homes available to rent if you’re moving to San Francisco.

  • San Francisco’s average rent for a studio apartment is $2,073
  • San Francisco’s average rent for a 1-bedroom home or apartment is $2,579
  • San Francisco’s average rent for a 2-bedroom home or apartment is $3,135
  • San Francisco’s average rent for a 3-bedroom home or apartment is $4,030
  • San Francisco’s average rent for a 4-bedroom home or apartment is $4,385
jobs in San Francisco

How is the job market in San Francisco?

San Francisco is home to more than 35 Fortune 500 companies and more than 300 IT firms.

Moving to San Francisco opens up several business opportunities. San Francisco’s unemployment rate is lower than the U.S. average making it one of the best places to get a job in America. We’ve collated key stats about the city’s job market since you’re considering moving to San Francisco.

  • San Francisco’s unemployment rate is 5.4%. The U.S. average is 6.0%
  • San Francisco’s job growth has been positive so far
  • The number of San Francisco’s jobs have increased by 1.3% over the past year

Since you’re considering moving to San Francisco, here’s a quick breakdown of the city’s job market:

Employment Information San Francisco, California United States
The income per Cap$59,508$31,177
Household Income$96,265$57,652
Unemployment Rate5.46.0%
Recent Job Growth-9.54%-6.18%
Future Job Growth39.10%33.51%

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Top career options if you’re moving to San Francisco

You’ll find several high-paying jobs if you’re moving to San Francisco. The city is one of the best places to earn some of the highest pays in America. Since you’re considering moving to San Francisco, here’s a quick snapshot of the city’s highest paying jobs:

Rank Job Title Average Salary Entry Level Salary # OF PEOPLE
1Psychiatrists$254,480$148,400300
2Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers$252,430$111,7503,290
3General Internal Medicine Physicians$239,360$134,53050
4Pediatricians, General$235,190$153,080370
5Chief Executives$234,160$103,4805,850
6Family Medicine Physicians$214,810$90,3801,960
7Computer and Information Systems Managers$212,480$126,25023,830
8Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates$211,940$157,500280
9Lawyers$201,920$93,04016,740
10Marketing Managers$196,260$112,33011,350

San Francisco median salary

How much money are San Francisco residents earning on average? If you’re moving to San Francisco, you’ll most likely be interested in the city’s residents’ average pay. The following is a quick snapshot to give you an idea of what to expect:

  • San Francisco’s average annual pay for average jobs is 72,813 a year
  • San Francisco’s average hourly pay for average job is $35.01 an hour
  • San Francisco’s average weekly pay for average job is $1,400 per week
  • San Francisco’s average monthly pay for average job is $6,068 per month
  • Majority of salaries within the average jobs range between $57,948 to $86,630

Major industries in San Francisco

San Francisco is home to some of the leading industries in America. Moving to San Francisco opens up several business opportunities making the city one of the best places to live in America. Since you’re considering moving to San Francisco, here’s a list of the city’s major industries:

  • Tourism
  • IT & Software
  • Social and digital media
  • Life Sciences & Biotech
  • Environmental and cleantech
  • International business
  • Finance
  • Professional and business services
  • Leisure and hospitality
  • Trade, transportation, and utilities
taxes in San Francisco, CA

California taxes

Taxes in California are rated among the highest in the United States.

Depending on where you’re moving from, moving to California will most likely mean paying more amount of money in taxes. Here’s a quick breakdown of California’s major taxes:

  • California Income tax is 1% - 13.3%
  • California sales tax: 7.25% - 10.75%
  • California property tax is 0.73% average effective rate
  • Gas tax is 51.10 cents per gallon of regular gasoline
  • Gas tax is 38.90 cents per gallon of diesel
San Francisco things to do

Best things to do if you’re moving to San Francisco, CA

There are no dull moments in San Francisco. Famous for being one of the best places to live in America, the number of things you can do to have fun in San Francisco is almost endless. We’ve made a list of the best things to do in the city since you’re considering moving to San Francisco:

  • Go across the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Come face to face with jellyfish
  • Spend time at Union Square
  • Embrace the Chinese culture in Chinatown
  • Spend time in Ghirardelli square
  • Head down to the waterfront at fisherman’s wharf
  • Enjoy a day at the Presidio of San Francisco
  • Relax at Golden Gate Park
  • Sample delicious food at the ferry building
  • Take in the view from Twin Peaks
  • Ride the San Francisco cable car system
  • Watch the San Francisco giants
  • Explore the world around you

How safe is San Francisco CA?

Safety is most likely one of the key things you’d like to consider before making up your mind about moving to San Francisco. We’ve collected key stats about the city’s crime rates to give you an idea of what to expect since you’re considering moving to San Francisco.

  • Residents have a 1 in 149.3 chance of being the victim of a violent crime each year
  • Residents have a 1 in 18.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime each year
  • Violent crime rate in San Francisco is 39.6. The U.S. average is 22.7
  • Property crime rate in San Francisco is 79.2. The U.S. average is 35.4

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Statistic Count Raw San Francisco/ 100k People California/ 100k People National/ 100k People
Total Crimes Per 100K54,7136,175.22,772.42,476.7
Murder404.14.35.0
Robbery3,055344.8132.481.6
Aggravated Assault2,514283.7267.1250.2
Violent Crime5,933669.6441.2366.7
Burglary4,644524.1386.1340.5
Larceny39,8874,501.91,586.31,549.5
Car Theft4,249479.6358.8219.9
Property Crime48,7805,505.62,331.22,109.9
schools in San Francisco

Best Schools & Universities in San Francisco

San Francisco is home to some of the best universities and colleges in the U.S.

The city is also home to some of the best elementary, middle and high schools in California. Moving to San Francisco gets you closer to these various world-class schools. We’ve made a list of the best schools in the city since you’re considering moving to San Francisco:

Best elementary schools in San Francisco

  • Chinese Immersion School at DeAvila
    Public, K-5 | 387 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Mission Preparatory School
    Charter, K-8 | 385 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Chin (John Yehall) Elementary
    Public, K-5 | 266 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Jefferson Elementary
    Public, K-5 | 490 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Key (Francis Scott) Elementary
    Public, K-5 | 551 students, Rating: 8/10

Best middle schools in San Francisco

  • Mission Preparatory School
    Charter, K-8 | 385 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Lawton Alternative Elementary
    Public, K-8 | 593 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Lilienthal (Claire) Elementary
    Public, K-8 | 697 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Roosevelt Middle
    Public, 6-8 | 694 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Giannini (A.P.) Middle
    Public, 6-8 | 1,188 students, Rating: 8/10

Best high schools in San Francisco

  • Lowell High
    Public, 9-12 | 2,774 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Asawa (Ruth) SF Sch of the Arts A Public School
    Public, 9-12 | 795 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Galileo High
    Public, 9-12 | 1,816 students, Rating: 8/10

  • KIPP San Francisco College Preparatory
    Charter, 9-12 | 403 students, Rating: 8/10

  • Balboa High
    Public, 9-12 | 1,217 students, Rating: 8/10

Best universities and colleges in San Francisco

  • University of San Francisco

  • San Francisco State University

  • University of California, San Francisco

  • California College of the Arts

  • Alliant International University

  • Golden Gate University

  • San Francisco Art Institute

  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law

  • Academy of Art University

  • Saybrook University

  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music

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